How to shop the market
In an effort to enhance your shopping experience, we’ve put together a few tips to help make your farmers market visit enjoyable, low-stress, and productive. If you have questions, look for the Market Info booth at the farmers market. Our friendly staff will help you find a certain vendor and update you about the latest happenings at the market!
The best selection and the most popular goods go first and fast! This is particularly true with seasonal specialties, such as berries during the warm summer months. Arriving at the market early helps to ensure that your favorite products are available.
Plain old cash is the main currency at the markets, although many vendors also accept credit and debit cards. When you bring cash, please keep the bills small. Hundred dollar bills are hard to break, and most vendors don’t carry that much change with them.
Forgot cash? No problem! We have farmers market tokens which act as market currency that you can purchase with your credit card at our Market Info Booth. HFM tokens are accepted at all Heirloom Farmers Markets and never expire. You can also purchase tokens online for yourself or as a gift: purchase tokens here.
Bring sturdy bags.
You can also purchase one of our beautiful HeirloomFM canvas bags at the market! It’s much easier to carry produce or frozen meat in sturdy cloth bags, and also helps reduce waste. Keep a cooler in your car if you want products to stay frozen or cold. You never know if you’ll need to make a stop on your way home. Check out our blog post, Shopping Sustainably At The Farmers Market, for tips on making your shopping trip a more sustainable act.
Keep it Simple.
Your first purchase might include a few delicious ingredients to prepare a simple meal, and that’s great! Fresh produce lasts longer and you will become accustomed to the beet or carrot that has the greens still attached and a little dirt on it. It’s a great feeling to buy directly from your farmer, and the taste of fresh produce is well worth it.
Leave a little wiggle room.
You may head to the market to buy tomatoes, and while you’re there, you might see some great looking apples. Leave a little wiggle room in your purchases for that special ingredient you weren’t expecting to find.
Be Curious. Look For the “ReAL” RED Flags.
Farmers grow their vegetables and choose the varietals that best suit the climate and conditions. Not sure who’s a farmer? Look for our red ‘Get Real Certification‘ flags at the vendors’ booths to find out who’s growing and producing their food locally.
Don’t let the sticker value of the produce scare you away. Farm-fresh produce will last longer and taste better than most store-bought produce. Also, make sure you shop around! If you’re a SNAP/EBT customer, check out our Double Up! Arizona Farm Bucks Program on fruits and veggies. If you receive a FMNP Seniors & WIC food benefits, you can spend those benefits at our markets as well.
Ask questions of the farmers. For example, how much longer is this produce in season? What will you be bringing next week? How do you cook/prepare this vegetable? You will gain the knowledge that you need to fully enjoy your purchases. At our markets, you can truly know your farmer!
Updated pet policy: pets are not allowed at the rillito park market
Pets will still be permitted at the Wednesday Green Valley Farmers & Artisans Market, the Friday Udall Park Farmers Market, the Saturday Oro Valley Farmers Market, and the Saturday Rincon Valley Farmers & Artisans Market. However, you must follow our guidelines below. Please be considerate – not everyone loves pets next to them while grocery shopping. HFM management reserves the right to require that owners remove their pets from the market.
- Keep your pet on a 4 ft. non-extendable leash.
- Have one handler for each pet. Pets must be under control by the handler’s side at all times.
- Keep pets away from produce, plants, and other food products.
- Bring water for your pet.
- Do not leave your pet in the car.
- During hot months, cover your pet’s feet to avoid burnt paws or consider leaving your pet at home in the air conditioning.
- You must clean up after your pet.
- Any pet that misbehaves, exhibits inappropriate behavior, or threatens the safety of any persons or other pets will need to leave the market.
- Do not allow your pet to relieve themselves on booths or signage. Any pet that does this will be asked to leave the market
Rain or shine, you can plan on joining us at the markets.
We do not cancel a market unless we are on site at the market and the weather offers no chance for sales, i.e., lightning and/or torrential downpour. To get the latest updates on market closures, please check our social media (Facebook or Instagram) on the day of the market.